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Six-year-old boy who raised millions with nail polish campaign dies

3 min read

Good Stuff
Six-year-old boy who raised millions with nail polish campaign dies

Terminally ill six-year-old Dutch boy, Tijn Kolsteren, who hoped to raise a few hundred euros by daring people to paint their nails, died earlier this month having raised more than €9 million.

Famous people including DJs and politicians across the Netherlands responded to the appeal

This is the moving story of six-year-old Tijn Kolsteren: Terminally ill suffering from brain cancer, he had one last wish. He wanted to raise as much money as possible to help other children. Tijn asked people who get their nails painted to donate €1 and those who don’t get their nails painted to donate €10. The campaign, originally intended to raise a few hundred euros, went viral in The Netherlands and finally raised over €9 million! Famous people including DJs and politicians across the Netherlands responded to the appeal. Even the King and Prime Minister joined in and praised young Tijn, who was blessed by Pope Francis.

Tijn brough The Netherlands together As part of his bucket list, Tijn wanted to help as many children as possible. Source: Facebook/BrightVibes

This six-year-old boy polarised an entire nation and they mourn his loss

Six-year-old Tijn Kolsteren, who raised more than €9 million in a nail-polish campaign, has died of a rare form of brain cancer, reports 3FM radio station. He had volunteered to raise money by varnishing people’s nails for 3FM’s Serious Request campaign in Breda, The Netherlands.

Tijn wanted to prevent children dying from pneumonia. “Most of the poor kids infected with pneumonia don’t even live to be five years old. That is why we’re standing up to fight,”  his father said. And that is why he showed up at the Glass House (radio show) with a request: he wants to paint nails to raise funds for 3FM Serious Request and the Red Cross.

Tijn’s challenge touched the hearts of many people. The main square in the city of Breda filled up to support him, and a lot of people shared photos of them wearing nail polish. Among them were famous Dutch DJ Armin van Buuren, kickboxer Rico Verhoeven and several Dutch politicians, including the Dutch Prime Minister, Mark Rutte. Even King Willem-Alexander himself got involved.

Within one day the challenge has raised over 300.000 euros. Within two days his challenge hit one million euros. In total, more than nine million euros were collected.
The Dutch press hailed the brave youngster as a superhero. Soon he became known as "SuperTijn".

The donation page urged people: “Paint your nails, make a donation and then challenge three of your friends to do the same.” It invited participants to share their pictures on social media using the hashtag #lakaan (meaning “the polish is on”).

In April, the boy received a papal blessing from Pope Francis, after a pastor from Nijmegen made a request on his behalf.

Before his death, Tijn was working on a new charity drive called "Lak door Tijn" (Dutch for "Nail polish by Tijn") in which he sold four colours of polish to collect money to buy a specialised machine to treat children with brain cancer.


The goal amount of one million euros was reached on Thursday night, Dutch media reported.
The Dutch media hailed the boy as a hero, with the tabloid newspaper AD putting a picture of him dressed as a superhero under the headline “SuperTijn” on the front page.
People started lining up outside the radio studio and asked Tijn to paint their nails. The Dutch media hailed the boy as a hero, with the tabloid newspaper AD putting a picture of him dressed as a superhero under the headline “SuperTijn” on the front page. Source: Facebook/BrightVibes
Make an Impact

Click to support Tijn's chosen research foundation:

Semmy Foundation’s mission is to prolong the life expectation and outcome for kids with a brainstem tumor (brainstem glioma) through scientific research. You can support the Semmy Foundation in many ways.